; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

UFOs, Bigfoot and Anomalous Activity - Patapsco River Valley

The Patapsco River Valley in central Maryland has seen a lot of history and high strangeness over the centuries. I have included just a few descriptions of known events, as well as links to personal encounters. The general region remains one of the most haunted in the United States, (ex. Ellicott City & Baltimore):

On Wednesday, March 22, 1978 at approximately 11:00 p.m. EST, Gary Oickle, 24, his brother David, 22, and two friends, Barry Smith, 22 and Ken Cabot, 25 were around a campfire talking in Patapsco Valley State Park at the Baltimore & Ohio railroad tunnel. Barry and David were about 50 feet away from the others when they noticed a strange object in the southeastern sky which disappeared over a ridge in the distance. They watched the object for about 10 seconds and could see no particular details except a rough shape. Barry described it as a flat looking object.

They then walked back to the fire to tell the other two about what they had seen when another similar object appeared directly over the four of them from behind a ridge to their north. The object was described as a huge triangular shaped object with large windows and three white lights at the corners. The size was estimated from "a quarter the size of a football field" to "150-200 feet on each side". The object moved very slowly, hovering at times, in a southeastern direction following the contour of the ridges just above the trees.

When it appeared above them it was very low, approximately 200-250 feet, and made a sound like a "quiet wind" or "quietly rushing waterfall". The witnesses watched the object for approximately 15 to 20 seconds until it disappeared behind the trees. Three of the witnesses thought they could see the shadow or silhouette of a figure at the windows. Three of the witnesses also reported seeing a bright star-like object in the southern sky immediately after the sighting. Two of them said the star-like object changed colors; blue, green, yellow, red, repeatedly, while the other thought the object may have been a helicopter or something in the distance.

Two of the witnesses thought that the large triangular object had a "metallic" or "bluish-gray" color, but all four agreed that it had three white lights at the corners and a blinking red light on the top.

None of the witnesses were frightened by the experience but, quite the contrary, were very curious and even yelled at the object hoping it would land. All had also read something of UFOs previously but none had seen anything like this before. - APRO, April 1978 - By Joe and Doris Graztao

NOTE: this is an area very familiar to me since I have lived near there for almost 35 years. The general area has a lot of paranormal history...and approximately 5 miles from where I had my Bigfoot encounter in 1981. There have been sightings of Bigfoot-like creatures since the early 1970's. One of the most haunted facilities in the world, Henryton Center, was situated nearby. It was demolished recently. There are many ruins within the park including a church, houses, etc...in fact, this is the actual location where the 'Blair Witch Project' was filmed. Triangle UFO sightings are not uncommon in this part of Maryland...there have been several reports over the past few years. Lon


Henryton Center was established in 1922 for the care of African-American tuberculosis patients. In 1963 the hospital was transferred to the Department of Mental Hygiene and began to operate a training and rehabilitation program for severely and profoundly mentally challenged ambulatory adults. The center was closed in 1985 and was razed recently.

I have lived very close to this facility since the mid 1970's and have had friends work there. In fact, I had been there several times when I was younger working part time at the hospital. Believe me, the place was even a 'house of horrors' before it was shutdown. At one time, it housed some of the most severe mentally ill patients in the state of Maryland and, frankly, it was under staffed and things got out of hand regularly.

I have heard several stories of horrid abuse, especially when it was used strictly for care of African-American patients who suffered from tuberculosis. I don't blame the staff as much has I blame the state who purposely considered it as a low priority.

Anyway, the place had extensive paranormal activity before it was closed. Towards the end of it's use, it was very hard to find workers because of the stories surrounding the facility....disembodied voices, malevolent phantoms, possessions, etc. Personally, I had a strange encounter while raking leaves one day.

It was a late afternoon in November and I was almost done raking leaves near one of the smaller buildings in the back of the grounds. The light was fading and I had just bagged a pile of leaves when I heard a voice behind me that said "go home...now". I turned around and caught a glimpse of the partial spectre of a elderly woman dressed in a hospital gown. She was clearly African-American but most of the figure was blurred. As I continued to look, the spectre slowly faded away then disappeared. I was shaken but not really afraid since this wasn't the first (or last) time I have witnessed an apparition.

I didn't say anything about the incident until I was at dinner with some family members a few days later. A friend, who was a nurse supervisor at Henryton Center, had asked me if I was planning to pickup up some more part-time work at the facility. I stated I already found other work...then proceeded to tell her what I had witnessed. Well, her reaction was profound and she told me that a female patient had passed away on that very day and time and that my description of this woman was very similar.

I returned to Henryton Center twice since then to investigate some of the activity. I agree that it is one of the most active places I have ever been. Lon

Here are links to other strange events that occurred in and around the Patapsco River Valley:

Winged Enigma

Witness Report: Central Maryland Bigfoot

My 30 Year Search....After Finding Bigfoot

Experience at 'Hell House'

Katherine: The Lady of Gray's Mill

The Patapsco: Baltimore's River of History

Ellicott City's Guide To Haunted Places B+W Edition: The Haunted Travel Guide Series

Big Book of Maryland Ghost Stories, The (Big Book of Ghost Stories)

Monsters of Maryland: Mysterious Creatures in the Old Line State